Wednesday, May 16, 2012

happy mother's day

oooo Mother's Day this year was such a sweet time for me.  I am happy to have been looking at the day as a celebration of what I've been given- as a chance to be thankful & grateful & just enjoy the beautiful view from where I sit.  I was able to bless my Mom & my mom-in-law with a little 1000 Gifts 'Joy in a box' gift in the mail- whew the boys were such big helpers getting that accomplished all in one day!  Wish I had been able to snap a picture of the finished product, but it.was.sweet.

Loved some fresh flowers, and some sweet little birdies.

James picked out these 'Mickey cookies' at the grocery store and I couldn't say no.  haha.  We had a few of these in the oven for a few days in a row...

Best part of my mother's day: Matt took the boys and I up to the Inn at Biltmore for their Mother's Day brunch.  The view out over the landscape was the best part, but the food was a seriously close second.  and it was an awesome view.

My two little guys were all over the buffet.  Hayden's favorite pick: waffles.  I think he ate 3 mini waffles.  James' favorite pick: mini chocolate silk pie.  oooooo

balcony view.

rainy day beauty.

After lunch, we packed up our fellas and put on our rain coats to go to the petting zoo just down the hill.  James got to break in his Christmas gift from Mimi & Grandpa Prose = Pirate rain gear.  Jacket, boots, and umbrella.  It took us a while to walk up to the petting zoo 'cause this guy was having too much fun in the rain.

We just hung out and played with the 'kids'.  They were so cute and funny.  Hayden just enjoyed his comfy spot in the stroller and he & I were happy to be dry under the big umbrella.  Daddy chased James and the kids around the barn yard.  To hear James ordering those goats around: 'get down!' off the barrels, 'out' & 'over here' to the goats who were trying to get in cozy with the horse.  fun.

Loved spending the day with my boys- so glad I get to be their mommy.  Thanks for a wonderful day- my sweet husband picked out a special memento for Hayden to give me for our 1st mother's day together.  Such a sweet gift for the romantic heart of mine.  And, he took me shopping on our way home (had to exchange a defective something, but hey, they had at least one more thing I liked. ;-)  All in all, blessed day. 

life lessons by Babar.

Some days, I am amazed by how many things happen.  tough things- things that I could let 'ruin' my day or steal my joy.  potty accidents.  crying.  toilets overflowing.  dirty dishes.  clean, no make that dirty, floors.  laundry done, no wait, one more potty accident.  crying.  and then a bug will fly in my eye when my contacts have been threatening to take my life already.

I was telling Matt about one of these days... and it is so easy to be completely overwhelmed by the chaos of it all.  But, its easy to forget all the precious, sweet moments of the day while the gross, crazy moments are very difficult to shake.

I took my boys shopping one day last week and James picked out a book of Babar as his 'treat' for the day.  (I'm such a sucker for books)  but they really did great- we had such a good time together- James minded so well, was so patient shopping, read Babar for over an hour while I tried on clothes- Hayden was the sweetest, most chill, happiest baby playing with his new rattle fish toy for the duration of our trip.  They let me walk them into chick-fil-a: one on the hip. one in the hand.  It felt like we conquered mountains, and enjoyed one another at the same time.  I am so thankful for the chance to write down the good before the bad is all I can remember- even now the bad of that day wants to make it onto the page- "feel my pain" it cries!!  all for what?  What do I gain by sharing all the bad?  But sharing the good, and being grateful for the time together, all of it, makes my heart feel lighter.

We got home and I finally got to read the Babar with James.  To summarize: one child falls over a cliff to be found.  one child chokes on a toy to be saved.  one child is almost eaten by an alligator to be rescued.  At the end of all that...

Thank you Lord for putting gentle reminders in my way... all sorts of places.  What a blessing it is to have my children, however hard.  I wouldn't know how to get along without them.

spring up oh well.

Spring.  fountains.  trucks.  water.  skinned knees.  friends.  sunshine.  community.  love.  life. 

little buddies.  crawling.  trucks.  water.  trucks.  buddies.  water.  crawling...

Jude & Hayden.

Grady & Olivia.  hide & seek.  peek-a-boo.  raaaah!

taking.a.break.  guy time.  Mr. Martin.  don't mind me I'll just sidle up beside you...

awkward-guy-side-hug.  cheek to cheek.  lean in.  pat on the back.  shoulder to shoulder.

dance-for-three.  created by breaking into the dance-for-two.  oh if we all had the courage to do the same?

I will get the water.  I think I can, I think I can...

 me & my boys.  taking on the challenges.  soaking it in.  Moving through the difficult & hard & yucky & smelly & unbridled & complicated.  My daytime job = crisis management.  #1000gifts.  Everything is grace.  grateful to have them & wouldn't trade them for the world.

working hard.  playing hard.  eating hard.  ;-)  Hayden's first spaghetti dinner... yes, mommy didn't actually intend to hand it over to him = no bib.  But, he was so interested in the texture, and big bro didn't eat his at all.  So, Hayden got to try out his hand in the bowl of spagetti.  LOVE.  James in the bumbo, Hayden standing up playing the piano.... wait. haha

Hayden giving James a 'good night tackle'.  He is getting famous for those...  These boys are getting to be so much fun together.  We definitely have our moments of too many tears, jealousy, and selfishness- but the moments where James passes his bowl over to Hayden and says, "Hayden some??" or his sweet 'night night' kisses for Hayden or how they laugh and play together.  Hayden chases James up the stairs and everywhere else now.  James wants Hayden to get tucked in with him in bed & invites him up to his pillow forts sometimes.  haha, Hayden is caught in the pillow crossfire some, but he's happy to play with big bro even if it means some bumps.

James' motley crew includes: Thomas, pirate ship captain.  airplane, Percy, pirate parrot, cannon ball, more trains, airplane, fire truck, treasure map... all driving up the gang plank on an adventure I'm sure.

Oh, how could I forget Francesco & helicopter?  Love watching these boys playing these days. #1000gifts

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the best B & B

The best little Bed & Breakfast I know... Grammy & Papa's house.  It has it all: totally affordable, very comfortable accommodations, breakfast ready when you are.  Oh, and complimentary child care.

Complete with its own playground.  This was Hayden playing 'peek-a-boo' in the window when his big bro decided to 'squeeeeze' in...

Hayden trying to grab James' toes...

Their pool is awesome.  The boys love it- James actually swam all by himself with this pool ring!!  He was just warming up, and then was ready to go for it.  I really couldn't believe it.

This guy was turning into a fish before our eyes.

Such a great way to finish up our family vacation.  Matt and I even got to go out for dessert on Saturday night- yes it did happen!!  I think maybe our second date since Hayden was born... Thanks Mom & Dad.  It was great to see you, and thanks so much for watching Roo!


My beach bum.  His curls got serious with the humidity- this boy is so much fun.

There we go, Cheese!!

what could be better than a truck and the beach?  wow.  Seeing James really get to explore and let his imagination run free was... amazing.  He's really beginning to play- to create- to become so much more independent.  What a wild, untamed joy & determination & passion he possesses.  Toddler years- filled with extreme emotion: incredible happiness followed by extreme disappointment demonstrated in fitful tears.  But, I'll take him any day.  " please... help please... help please...." James' favorite phrase.

My boys.  Didn't have any expectation that they would actually sit for this.  Pretty stunned actually.  Hopeful for the future of their photos, as the past has been bleak. haha.  My sandy, sun kissed boys.

could just eat them up.

who's happy?  maybe beach bliss?? haha

Looking a little more alike these days...  such cuties.

family photo :-)

we love you beach.  We miss you already.

James running... wild abandon.  arms outstretched like he was flying...

a little more beach time with baby Jack & his mommy.  Loved getting to see y'all- enjoying the time was get to spend together & wishing for more!

aah. yes.

James became suddenly fascinated with finding a 'real pirate' after daddy told him we could see one at dinner to encourage him to get ready to go our last night.  hilarious.  We found this 'real pirate' for him to take his picture with.  I think he was unimpressed.  haha

glorious glorious beach vacation.  Thank you Matt for taking us- probably one of the only vacations we've taken in the past 4 years or more that was really restorative. relaxing. refreshing.  Thank you for giving us that time together- we love you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I love the beach.  I adore taking pictures of my family there.  It's beautiful.  I am learning how to apply the principle of finding joy in such beauty- at the beach its easy.  At home it can be done the same way.  Stepping back and admiring the scene before you.  How is each day filled with so much trail. obstacle. pain. grief. stress. anger. frustration. repetition. But also filled with grace. blessing. joy. innocence. beauty. awe. gratefulness. humility. comfort.

I am so struck by how easy it is to miss the gifts and still be overwhelmed by the mess of this life.  But, a beautiful picture like this, of my husband and my son in our own paradise, this make it easy to see the gift of this moment.  May I take this lesson and apply it...  'always on vacation'?? haha


my sweet little guy & me.

Favorite hobby: chasing the birds.

Loves the beach.

A Gulf sunset. such beauty.

Simplicity & wonder & joy.  Flying a kite.

Definitely my favorite vacation we've ever taken.  Having a chance to rest, enjoy, eat, rest. maybe eat some more.  Boy do I love fried sea food. wow.

They had a kiddie pool as well- which was kinda awesome for us.  James poolside.

These two sitting  I got so many great shots of them both side by side.  just fun.

A popsicle break with Jack.  We were so lucky to have the Prose/Lyon clan over for a cookout at the beach.  It was great to see most of our extended family- James loves his Nana. ;-)  Matt hadn't seen them since Christmas, but we are so fortunate that the boys and I have been able to see the family more often- so that he knows them.  Thanks ya'll for coming- especially Nikki who was 'great with child' and has now welcomed their new addition: Alexander Lyon!! :-)  Welcome little guy, we were hoping to meet you in person, but you got an awesome birthday: same as your great Uncle Jim!